Eight siblings have been found stabbed to death in a house in Australia. The children, aged from 18 months to 15 years, were discovered by an older brother, aged 20, who arrived home to find them dead.
The mass killing is not believed to be terror-related, but Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that “these are trying days for our country.” The tragedy comes just days after an armed siege in Sydney claimed the lives of two hostages and the Islamist hostage taker.
Abbott said the crime was “heart breaking”, adding: “This is an unspeakable crime. Tonight there will be tears and prayers across our country for these children.”
The Telegraph reports that the children were killed in their home in Cairns, on the north coast of the country. A 34-year-old woman has also been taken to hospital, while a cousin of the family said that said that the victims were “mostly indigenous.”
“We’re a big family and most of us are from the [Torres] Strait. I just can’t believe it. We just found out [about] those poor babies,” she said.
Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar declines to confirm whether the children were all from the same family, although he did say there was no further danger to the public.
“As it stands at the moment, there is no need for the public to be concerned… The situation is under control… We’ll cover every angle before this is finished,” he said.
“These events are extremely distressing for everyone of course and police officers aren’t immune from that. We’re human beings as well, however the police that we have here are very highly trained and professional people and they’re going about their job in the way that I would expect them to.”